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girlyswot
05-22-2013, 05:44 PM
With this announcement from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001197421

KateJJ
05-22-2013, 05:48 PM
I don't even know what to say...

At least they bought licensing rights. But it strikes me, as a former fanficcer, as just not right.

SelmaW
05-22-2013, 05:49 PM
For those who don't feel like clicking, the most relevant stuff:


Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.

In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works—between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World’s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.

girlyswot
05-22-2013, 05:50 PM
Apparently 50+ authors including Barbara Freethy, John Everson and Colleen Thompson have also licensed their work.

No, I think those are the authors who have been commissioned to write fanfic for the launch of the programme.

SelmaW
05-22-2013, 05:52 PM
No, I think those are the authors who have been commissioned to write fanfic for the launch of the programme.

Whoops, you're right! Edited that out so I'm not spreading false info. Huh, seems much more limited that way... but I suppose they'll be expanding soon.

Forlorn-ember
05-22-2013, 05:55 PM
It doesn't seem right to me, to be able to sell fanfiction. (former Fanfic writer as a teen)

Perks
05-22-2013, 05:56 PM
Wow. That's... really... weird.

Kerosene
05-22-2013, 05:57 PM
In a sense, it's a win for these entertainment companies. Most fanfic writers aren't the greatest writers (no offense, I was one in the early days) so nothing is going to outsell the original material. They are receiving proceeds for just being the licensing holder. And fans will only go deeper into their product's worlds by reading fanfic.

Who knows if this'll work out or not.

girlyswot
05-22-2013, 05:57 PM
It doesn't seem right to me either. But it's going to change things. People will want to see if they can make money at it. And even if some fandoms/parts of fandom resist the lure of Amazon, a lot won't.

Jamesaritchie
05-22-2013, 05:57 PM
There's nothing legitimate about Amazon. It's the worst thing that's happened to writers, and readers, in my lifetime.

girlyswot
05-22-2013, 05:59 PM
Although... the info for authors is pretty clear on no porn, no crossovers and sticking to the guidelines issued for each world, which I guess will mean no AU. So that's a fairly limited sector of the fanfic world.

Cathy C
05-22-2013, 06:18 PM
So few agents will take on tie-in novels because of the hassle of dealing with the creators, combined with the producers and networks/studios. This might be a win all around for those who are interested in writing unique stories in the worlds. I might just try my hand when I have time. :)

ebbrown
05-22-2013, 06:19 PM
Does this mean anyone can take my characters and make money off them, without my permission? Does the author have the option to refuse to allow fanfic?

A friend of mine wants to write a screenplay based on my work, but I am giving him permission to do so. I agree because I have input in the project and the power to change things. But this article makes it seem like that choice has been taken away from authors.

:Shrug:

Cathy C
05-22-2013, 06:22 PM
It sounds like Amazon has formally licensed the rights (just like Random or Macmillan or such would do), so it's legit.

But what the terms of those licenses are as to creative control by the copyright holder, I don't know.

Kerosene
05-22-2013, 06:24 PM
eebrown, please read:


For those who don't feel like clicking, the most relevant stuff:
Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.

In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works—between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World’s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.

Only if you contact Amazon and tell them that their customers have the right to use your work (if you own the rights), that they can allow the writers to publish fanfiction.

articshark
05-22-2013, 06:38 PM
Amazon is taking lifetime of the copyright from the fanfic writers. Don't know that matters to anyone. It would to me.

Namatu
05-22-2013, 06:47 PM
Wow. That's... really... weird.What she said.

lilyWhite
05-22-2013, 06:52 PM
In all honesty, my opinion on this is really a big shrug of my shoulders. If the creators of an original world want to allow others to profit from fanfiction while gaining profits themselves, I suppose I don't really have a problem with that. They want to allow this, fine by them.

I personally would have no interest in doing this with any of my works; I tend to be quite pessimistic about fanfics and how they respect the original work.

heza
05-22-2013, 06:54 PM
So... do you think if Amazon has licensed the rights to sell fanfic on these certain worlds, they'd be tempted to go after (or encourage the original rights holders to go after) places that give it away for free? I mean, why would I buy Vampire Diaries fanfic when there's an endless supply of it available for free elsewhere?

heza
05-22-2013, 06:58 PM
We will allow Kindle Worlds authors to build on each other's ideas and elements. We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.

This is interesting to me. Am I reading this correctly? If you publish with them, anyone else can write a story in your "sub-world" as it were, and the original rights holder can use your ideas in their works without compensating you... ?

ebbrown
05-22-2013, 07:04 PM
eebrown, please read:



Only if you contact Amazon and tell them that their customers have the right to use your work (if you own the rights), that they can allow the writers to publish fanfiction.

TY :) I missed that part.

Alitriona
05-22-2013, 07:17 PM
No, no, no. Not a chance I'd be on board. As I've just said on FB, it takes me so long to write a book that I have no interest in someone getting there first with my characters and selling the rights worldwide forever to Amazon.

I see this going the same way as pricing. Amazon will push and push. Those who don't get inline will be portrayed as party poopers and will come under fan pressure.

I wonder did Amazon come to Hugh Howie with this or did he go and stick the idea in their head? It seems fishy to me that this comes on the tail of his announcement.

AlterEgox5
05-22-2013, 07:18 PM
So... do you think if Amazon has licensed the rights to sell fanfic on these certain worlds, they'd be tempted to go after (or encourage the original rights holders to go after) places that give it away for free? I mean, why would I buy Vampire Diaries fanfic when there's an endless supply of it available for free elsewhere?
That's an interesting point. Maybe they're counting on their suggestions to help boost along fanfic sales? For example, perhaps someone who doesn't necessarily read fanfiction buys a Vampire Diaries novel and then sees the whole, "Hey, you bought this, you might like this!" and it's a fanfic title. Then they eventually think, "This is kind of cool," (provided the writing is good enough) and looks at other fanfics without ever realizing that he/she could mosey on over to FF.net and read all sorts of things until the cows come home...

Obviously just one tiny example. Or maybe Amazon is banking on all those who currently write for free to come over to their site so they can make money instead...then those free places will diminish so if you want a bigger selection you have to buy it.

OR are you also wondering that at some point Warner Bros might go over to FF.net and essentially say, "You don't have the licenses to do this - take it all down"? Now that would be an uncomfortable day on the internet...

Alitriona
05-22-2013, 07:30 PM
Someone just pointed out the idea Amazon maybe inching toward a ff clause in all works published through them. Maybe then all work sold through them. The pretty invite to the party might just be the first step on a slippery slope for IP.

Cyia
05-22-2013, 07:32 PM
FWIW -- the universes in question are packaged book universes that are already collective efforts.

You're still going to have a TON of writers, publishers, and otherwise saying NO WAY to this.

heza
05-22-2013, 07:32 PM
Obviously just one tiny example. Or maybe Amazon is banking on all those who currently write for free to come over to their site so they can make money instead...then those free places will diminish so if you want a bigger selection you have to buy it.

OR are you also wondering that at some point Warner Bros might go over to FF.net and essentially say, "You don't have the licenses to do this - take it all down"? Now that would be an uncomfortable day on the internet...

I think both of those are certainly possibilities. While I think it's conceivable that Amazon could hope to shut down the free fic places just by virtue of pilfering their authors, I think the severe limits on the type of fanfiction that can be written and sold on Kindle Worlds would lessen the risk. There are just too many writer who are going to want to do what they want to do, write in AU worlds, write adult material, and be experimental. I think there will still be plenty of it out there to read.

But yeah, I do wonder if Amazon will pressure, say, WB to police other sites since they licensed the rights to Amazon. They might also can license the rights to FF.net, but FF.net probably wouldn't buy it. Not being alarming or anything--just speculating.

heza
05-22-2013, 07:35 PM
FWIW -- the universes in question are packaged book universes that are already collective efforts.


They're using the television images of the television show adaptions... so does the license include the television show? The universes get pretty divergent in some cases.

Susan Littlefield
05-22-2013, 07:36 PM
It's all about Amazon making money for themselves.

I love my Kindle Fire, and I shop for ebooks at Amazon, but they are in the business of making money from books however they can.

If the authors are okay with this, then fine. But, it's not a bandwagon I want to hop on, either as a reader or a writer.

bearilou
05-22-2013, 07:46 PM
*climbs in a foxhole and starts popping the popcorn*

articshark
05-22-2013, 08:01 PM
Some prelim thoughts by Scalzi (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/05/22/amazons-kindle-worlds-instant-thoughts/).

shadowwalker
05-22-2013, 08:12 PM
Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Maybe it's too early in the morning, but do they mean "authorized stories" to be stories that are approved by the 'World Licensor' prior to publication, or do they mean "authorized" because they've purchased the license to that world?


This is interesting to me. Am I reading this correctly? If you publish with them, anyone else can write a story in your "sub-world" as it were, and the original rights holder can use your ideas in their works without compensating you... ?

It certainly sounds that way to me.

I'm not sure about this whole idea, either. While I'd love to make money legitimately from some of my fanfic, it still just doesn't seem right somehow. Akin to how my mother felt when they quit using Latin at Catholic services - it was nice, but... just not the same.

heza
05-22-2013, 08:17 PM
Maybe it's too early in the morning, but do they mean "authorized stories" to be stories that are approved by the 'World Licensor' prior to publication, or do they mean "authorized" because they've purchased the license to that world?

The way it sounded to me was that 1) each property would have limitations on what you could write, specific to the world. 2) Amazon would be doing some kind of quality assurance/compliance vetting prior to publishing.

bearilou
05-22-2013, 08:41 PM
Some prelim thoughts by Scalzi (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/05/22/amazons-kindle-worlds-instant-thoughts/).

Jim Hines (http://www.jimchines.com/2013/05/amazon-jumps-into-the-fanfic-business/)

Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/05/22/all-your-fanfiction-belong-to-us-what-the-fuck-is-kindle-worlds/)

as well.

Cyia
05-22-2013, 08:48 PM
They're using the television images of the television show adaptions... so does the license include the television show? The universes get pretty divergent in some cases.


That's something bugging me, too. They're using the images from the TV show, but only mention Alloy's okay for use, which would mean only the books can be used.

And I *really* don't like the provisions that say Alloy gets the rights to the original components of the works. (Technically, the writer has copyright over their words, but if you give the Salvatores a little sister in your story, and that character becomes popular, then Alloy can take lil sis and put her into their own works.)

INAL, but it seems that the "ownership" of copyright is further diluted by Amazon's claim to all of the additional rights, so they could theoretically cull and sell the most popular stories as a collection, without payment to the author.

heza
05-22-2013, 09:04 PM
Okay, so now I have actual concern. From the comments section of the Hines post:


On the decision to license a work, read your contract. It most likely gives your publisher the right to make licensing deals on your behalf (and without your permission). That’s pretty standard and I’m sure this would fall under that clause.

Can someone weigh in on that? Is it standard in publishing contracts, and could it give the publisher the right to license your work for fanfic even if you are against it?

Cyia
05-22-2013, 09:14 PM
Okay, so now I have actual concern. From the comments section of the Hines post:



Can someone weigh in on that? Is it standard in publishing contracts, and could it give the publisher the right to license your work for fanfic even if you are against it?

It's your agent's job (or yours, if you go it alone) to keep as many rights as are profitable.

If your book sells with World Rights, then your publisher can sell it in other markets. What they make on those sales goes against your advance, so it's possible that your entire advance will covered before the book goes on sale. (usually publication and audio rights, not media rights, btw)

If your book sells with the rights reserved, then your agent can sell the audio, media, and translation rights which will be payable to you, rather than your publisher.

Both systems work, it just depends on the deals made and what works best for you.

Phaeal
05-22-2013, 10:14 PM
Gossip Girl? Ick. Pretty Little Liars? Meh. Vampire Diaries. Nah.

Wake me up when they license Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Star Wars and/or Star Trek. Though I can't guarantee I won't roll over and fall asleep again.

I don't like that clause about the World rights holder getting to use any of your original stuff for free. Why be an unpaid idea generator? Given this condition, it makes sense to save your original characters and notions for your own fiction, and that would drain a lot of the vitality out of your fan fic.

My main concern, however, is one voiced by Jim Hines in the linked blog:

Who gets to decide whether to license to Amazon, the author or the publisher? Your contract is the legal answer, I expect. Which could make for a lot of unhappy authors. Probably on both sides, those who'd like to license and those who would rather spork out their eyes?

BenPanced
05-22-2013, 10:19 PM
FWIW -- the universes in question are packaged book universes that are already collective efforts.

You're still going to have a TON of writers, publishers, and otherwise saying NO WAY to this.
That's what I thought. What's the point, then?

heza
05-22-2013, 10:35 PM
I don't like that clause about the World rights holder getting to use any of your original stuff for free. Why be an unpaid idea generator? Given this condition, it makes sense to save your original characters and notions for your own fiction, and that would drain a lot of the vitality out of your fan fic.

All three of the author blog responses seem to comment on this seeming more like licensed tie-ins rather than straight up fanfic for profit, and I think in Wendig's comments section someone else explains that the setup of the new creations of a tie-in being available to the rights holder is pretty standard... *shrug*

Sounds like, though, tie-in writers know what they're getting into, whereas these fic-for-royalties writers might not.

Chris P
05-22-2013, 10:41 PM
My first thought was that nobody would pay for fanfiction, but then I remembered all the Star Trek books based off the Next Generation series. I remember specifically the cover for Warf's First Adventure with an early teen Michael Dorn heading off into the woods. My father in law had a bunch of Gene Autry books from the 1950s, so this is not new.

I imagine this differs from the type of fanfic being discussed here in that the Star Trek books were probably commissioned by the franchise (tie-ins, not fanfic). But to the consumer, what's the difference?

boozysassmouth
05-22-2013, 11:05 PM
There's a more optimistic response at The Mary Sue (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/www.themarysue.com/amazon-fanfic-kindle-words/). I agree with the other linked bloggers and it seems, most of the people commenting here. I do not like it, or perhaps, I just don't trust trust it.

I particularly liked these two comments by Jim Hines (http://www.jimchines.com/2013/05/amazon-jumps-into-the-fanfic-business/):

"Amazon is not pro-author, nor are they pro-reader. They’re pro-Amazon."

and Malinda Lo (http://www.malindalo.com/2013/05/amazon-tries-to-monetize-fan-fiction-i-freak-out/):

"Fan fiction is for fans; it’s done for the love of a TV show/movie/book/whatever. It’s not done for money. When it’s done for money, it becomes officially licensed tie-in media. It’s regulated, and it takes the fan out of fan fiction: it basically turns you into a work-for-hire writer. This is fine if that’s what you want. I know writers who make good livings doing that, but it’s not about being a fan. It’s about a job."

James D. Macdonald
05-22-2013, 11:14 PM
No porn, no AUs?

Are they unaware of Fifty Shades?

lolchemist
05-22-2013, 11:14 PM
As a writer, I would probably say yes to this, tbh. Especially if it were a series I was already done with and was on to something else. (I have several series I'm working on, some are only 2 books long, some are 4, some don't have a set # yet. Some are stand-alone. 11 ideas in total. Ughhhhhhhhh)

What do you guys think?

ETA: Actually, now that I'm reading more about this I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with it. If anyone wants to write a fanfic about my characters, INCLUDING if they see fit to have a character be sexually ravished by Papa Smurf and Gargamel in extremely graphic and detailed ways while the entire cast of Pokemon applauds, I feel like they should be allowed to do so and not handcuffed. I'd rather fanfic stay free (in both senses of the word) with no rules... I'm going to have to research this more though.

lilyWhite
05-22-2013, 11:18 PM
and Malinda Lo (http://www.malindalo.com/2013/05/amazon-tries-to-monetize-fan-fiction-i-freak-out/):

"Fan fiction is for fans; it’s done for the love of a TV show/movie/book/whatever. It’s not done for money. When it’s done for money, it becomes officially licensed tie-in media. It’s regulated, and it takes the fan out of fan fiction: it basically turns you into a work-for-hire writer. This is fine if that’s what you want. I know writers who make good livings doing that, but it’s not about being a fan. It’s about a job."

I love this train of thought where if you write a tie-in novel, you can't possibly be a real fan of the original work.

Why not take that reasoning and apply it to writing in general? Obviously people who publish their written works have less passion for writing than people who don't. Or how about art? People who sell their paintings are obviously not truly passionate about painting.

Cyia
05-22-2013, 11:24 PM
I love this train of thought where if you write a tie-in novel, you can't possibly be a real fan of the original work.

Why not take that reasoning and apply it to writing in general? Obviously people who publish their written works have less passion for writing than people who don't. Or how about art? People who sell their paintings are obviously not truly passionate about painting.

Yeah - that's not what she said.

Fans are in control of fanfiction, but once there's money involved, and it's a tie in deal, you have to write to the constraints allowed by the contract. The fan is no longer in control.

heza
05-22-2013, 11:28 PM
I love this train of thought where if you write a tie-in novel, you can't possibly be a real fan of the original work.

Why not take that reasoning and apply it to writing in general? Obviously people who publish their written works have less passion for writing than people who don't. Or how about art? People who sell their paintings are obviously not truly passionate about painting.

I think the quote is being taken out of context (unless you followed it to the source and read that, in which case ignore me). She was saying this in the context of a larger complaint that supports her idea that Amazon isn't monetizing fanfic so much as licensing authorized novelizations.

The complaint is that Amazon is going to place too many restrictions on what they'll allow (no slash, probably; no non-canon pairings, possibly; no AUs, etc.), and it's these outrageously vivid other "whatifs" that draw a lot of reading and writing fans to fanfic in the first place. If Amazon isn't allowing that creativity to blossom, then they're essentially taking the "fan" part out of it and stifling it down to a write-for-hire job.

lilyWhite
05-22-2013, 11:31 PM
Yeah - that's not what she said.

Fans are in control of fanfiction, but once there's money involved, and it's a tie in deal, you have to write to the constraints allowed by the contract. The fan is no longer in control.

There's a difference between guidelines and a complete lack of control. Unless they're being told to write a very specific plot with very specific characters in a very specific style, the fan is still in control. It is totally up to the fan to write the story they want to write, as long as it's within the guidelines.

After all, there's probably a great deal of fanfics that already exist that would fall into the guidelines of Kindle Worlds. Merely because some people want to write the kind of fanfiction that Amazon is seeking—not solely because they just want money—does not make them less of a fan.

Addendum: Just look at the beginning and end of the paragraph after the quoted paragraph (which isn't "out of context"; the prior paragraphs don't lead into that paragraph):

"Fan fiction is based on (let’s face it) doing what the original author(s) would probably not do: slash pairings, crossover stories (who doesn’t love a crossover?!), hot steamy sex, etc. ... I know that when I’ve read fan fiction, I’ve read it for all the things Amazon is not going to allow."

There's plenty of fanfics that don't include those things, that don't try to include things that are out-of-place for the story. And there's plenty of people who read those kinds of fanfics. So those statements boil down to generalizations.

heza
05-22-2013, 11:36 PM
There's a difference between guidelines and a complete lack of control. Unless they're being told to write a very specific plot with very specific characters in a very specific style, the fan is still in control. It is totally up to the fan to write the story they want to write, as long as it's within the guidelines.

After all, there's probably a great deal of fanfics that already exist that would fall into the guidelines of Kindle Worlds. Merely because some people want to write the kind of fanfiction that Amazon is seeking—not solely because they just want money—does not make them less of a fan.


That's all true, but I still don't interpret her statement as having said any of that. To each his own, though.


So question: Out of curiosity, I clicked the link to sign up for the notification of when the platform is ready for subbing stories. The subscription page said US only. Is that for the subscribing for the notification? Or is this fanfic thing only available to the US?

Russell Secord
05-22-2013, 11:56 PM
.... Am I reading this correctly? If you publish with them, anyone else can write a story in your "sub-world" as it were, and the original rights holder can use your ideas in their works without compensating you... ?

What could possibly go wrong ... ?

Cyia
05-23-2013, 12:00 AM
The complaint is that Amazon is going to place too many restrictions on what they'll allow (no slash, probably; no non-canon pairings, possibly; no AUs, etc.), and it's these outrageously vivid other "whatifs" that draw a lot of reading and writing fans to fanfic in the first place. If Amazon isn't allowing that creativity to blossom, then they're essentially taking the "fan" part out of it and stifling it down to a write-for-hire job.

Alloy already does this, so I don't think it's going to get better with *more* controls in place from Amazon. They control the main aspects and direction of their series, even when it goes expressly against the creator's wishes. (See LJ Smith's loss of The Vampire Diaries. She wanted to highlight one couple, but Alloy didn't, so they removed her as the writer.)

boozysassmouth
05-23-2013, 12:01 AM
I love this train of thought where if you write a tie-in novel, you can't possibly be a real fan of the original work.

Why not take that reasoning and apply it to writing in general? Obviously people who publish their written works have less passion for writing than people who don't. Or how about art? People who sell their paintings are obviously not truly passionate about painting.

I didn't take it to mean that at all. Tie-in novels are commissioned, so the people who write them aren't writing them necessarily for love of the fandom. They're writing them for a paycheck, though they may also enjoy the fandom. They are passionate about writing, but not necessarily the fandom.

Fanfic writers don't get paid, they're writing because they love the fandom in which they are writing. They may be passionate about writing, but for many they're real passion is the fandom. If they're passionate about writing, they're likely to write original novels or short stories.

I don't think she was suggesting that published writers aren't passionate about writing. They are, and they're passionate about their own characters and worlds.

veinglory
05-23-2013, 12:05 AM
Authorising AU fanfic on the condition that you promise not to sue the rights holder for any similarity to their future works (generally coincidental or imagined) is pretty common, going back to the days of zines. Mercedes Lackey allowed authorized zines to do this and every contributor had to sign a contract to that effect.

kenpochick
05-23-2013, 12:09 AM
I just read this article. Seems like a sketchy set-up to me. What do you all think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malinda-lo/post_4849_b_3320780.html?utm_hp_ref=books

Liralen
05-23-2013, 12:11 AM
Seems like a new form of franchising.

Evolution and change -- with an occasional mutation.

Pearl
05-23-2013, 12:27 AM
I'm not too crazy about it. I'm not going to participate.

I guess its signs of the times. The internet has made fan fiction more accessible and easily read, so it raised its profile. Too bad 50 Shades made the genre - as I like to put it - almost legitimate. Something like this was bound to happen.

I'm not a fan of fanfic, even though I read it a lot when I was younger. I see it as like a waste of talent. Some fanfic can very good and the writers do have talent. Why waste it on something that is not original and you did not create?

kenpochick
05-23-2013, 12:33 AM
It just doesn't seem right... Although I guess the original author can make sure their contract doesn't allow this. It seems like that would be hard to foresee...

Cathy C
05-23-2013, 12:36 AM
I've been posting over on Scalzi's blog entry and I've noticed that many of the same issues are being brought up over here, so I'm going to duplicate my posts in this thread:


“XXXXX wrote: Who can afford to write when future income from your work goes to someone else? These schemes will kill publishing.”

Not really, IMO. There are plenty of worlds right now where the publisher acquires all rights, such as the Dragonlance and Dungeons & Dragons realities. Wizards of the Coast had contests every year for the best novel and bought it outright, like a car, and the characters were melded into the world. That concept has actually been a benefit to the reality and to the games.

“XXXXX wrote: Most of us who write fanfiction do it for the joy of it.”

My first written novel was an X-Files tie-in. I can only call it a tie-in because they really were publishing novels in the reality when I wrote it. Now, it’s fanfic. Good fanfic, mind you, but without a deal where I could publish it within the terms of the reality, it’ll be a trunk novel forever. Oh, sure, I could change the characters, change the background, etc. I’m capable of that. But it’s forever etched in my mind as X-Files and I WANT Mulder and Scully to be the ones who solve it . . . not some other people. So, part of me really hopes that Amazon can make this work, and expand it out into other forgotten worlds with a fan base built-in where writers like me can let their novels see the light of day. :)

“XXXXXXXX wrote: But people don’t write fanfiction for money. There isn’t a “for-pay camp”.

But what if there *was*? What if fanfic writers really could get real money for their books–and they were a hit? It’s happened and has built careers.

The contract isn’t great, I admit. And I doubt Amazon will allow tweaking by agents of already pubbed authors (and certainly not debut authors). But the concept has merit and would allow some people with some rocking stories to get out to fans who would love to read them.

And isn’t that what this business is all about? :)

and


But, if I have the choice between writing for love and writing for the money (whether original or fanfic), I nearly always opt for the money. It’s why I’m a professional writer. :D

and


I have to admit, I’m finding this discussion fascinating. I read fanfic–quite a lot of it, but don’t write tons. I didn’t realize that it has somehow taken on a character/status that’s other than tie-in. But tie-ins of visual media has always existed and many writers have made a very comfortable career by writing books set in worlds belonging to others. Look at someone like SF legend Alan Dean Foster–who wrote equally as many tie-ins (from Star Trek to Alien Nation, Star Wars, Transformers, etc) as his original novels. To say that those books are somehow “less” than his original works is not really fair. It’s a different KIND of writing, but certainly not less.

I can’t imagine that the creative owners are going to look at Amazon as any different than the current publishers who already bid on the right to produce tie-ins. Okay, so they won the auction this time. How is Amazon and its subsidiaries/affiliates any different than any other print publisher who has contracted licenses on the duties and responsibilities they’ll have to satisfy the copyright owner’s reality? I guess I’m just not getting how they’ll be automatically be less likely to require quality, or somehow be allowed to cut corners on the worlds simply BECAUSE they’re Amazon. If someone could explain that, I’d appreciate it.

Just a few thoughts. :)

thothguard51
05-23-2013, 12:36 AM
I wonder how James Patterson feels about this????

veinglory
05-23-2013, 12:36 AM
I can't see how it would be anything but 'opt in' for authors with any kind of decent contract

RedWombat
05-23-2013, 01:05 AM
I can't see how it would be anything but 'opt in' for authors with any kind of decent contract

But can't you just smell the flames from that day in the future when someone with a crappy contract (or one they didn't fully understand) ends up seeing their media rights on there?

I can almost toast a marshmallow on the future...

veinglory
05-23-2013, 01:07 AM
This would be after they signed over copyright and hence really weren't paying a bit of attention to anything....

DeleyanLee
05-23-2013, 01:35 AM
Wow. That's... really... weird.

How is this any weirder than any other media tie-in stories? Outside of being self-published, that is.

Seems like a natural extension to me, given how the market is changing. At least to give it a try.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 01:42 AM
First of all, let me state that I'm not really opposed to the idea of writing fanfic for profit as long as one has permission to do so. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's no different, ethically, than being contracted to write a licensed tie-in novel.

That said, I have major reservations about stuff like this, and as a fanfic writer, I wouldn't participate.

Aside from pointing out some of the issues when it comes to who is allowed to license the works, I thought Jim C. Hines' article raised some good questions about the effect a system like this could have on fanfic writers.

I haven't seen any info about how much fanfic writers would be paid for having their work published by Amazon, but my concern is that this is an attempt to make more money by getting cheap licensed work from writers who may not be very business-minded or knowledgeable enough about the publishing industry to know what's fair. I'm not saying that Amazon is intentionally setting out to screw people over (I'm not that cynical. Who knows, maybe I should be), but sometimes I feel like I'm being patronized by things like this. Writing fanfic is something I do for fun. If you want me to submit it to you so you can make a profit, then it becomes a business matter. Why should I be happy with being a poor man's licensed tie-in writer?

Granted, I do see how this could be beneficial if you want to build a career writing tie-in novels and want to get some experience writing licensed works. But still, it's something to approach carefully.


I just read this article. Seems like a sketchy set-up to me. What do you all think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malinda-lo/post_4849_b_3320780.html?utm_hp_ref=books

I largely agree with it, and it touches on another major point, in my opinion.

Exploring things that wouldn't or couldn't be done in canon is a big appeal to a lot of fanfic readers and writers. That's not the sole interest in it by any means, but it's a large enough demographic that I think officially licensed fic might have limited interest to a lot of people.

It's not even just about whether or not you write erotic fanfic or AUs. There's a lot of freedom, to me, in knowing that fanfic isn't really "real." It allows you, first of all, to do things like kill off major characters or come up with a resolution to a love triangle that the series itself might prefer to drag on for the next few years. Even if you don't read or write fics that do things like that, I think it's freeing to know fic doesn't have to be canon or canon-compliant. There's no question of whether or not it's canon (I've seen some debates in fandoms about whether or not to accept conflicting details from tie-in novels), and if you don't like how one writer writes the characters, you don't have to accept it. You can just move on to the next fic and get a different portrayal. That freedom allows for a ton of creativity.



I'm not a fan of fanfic, even though I read it a lot when I was younger. I see it as like a waste of talent. Some fanfic can very good and the writers do have talent. Why waste it on something that is not original and you did not create?

Oi, we have fanfic writers on these boards (including me). And many/most of us write original fiction, as well. I don't think I'm wasting my talent, thank you very much.

Silver-Midnight
05-23-2013, 01:48 AM
With this announcement from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001197421

I honestly don't know how to feel about this.

heza
05-23-2013, 02:10 AM
...I haven't seen any info about how much fanfic writers would be paid for having their work published by Amazon, but my concern is that this is an attempt to make more money by getting cheap licensed work from writers who may not be very business-minded or knowledgeable enough about the publishing industry to know what's fair....

From the Kindle Worlds for Authors page:




Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to the rights holder for the World (we call them World Licensors) and to you. Your standard royalty rate for works of at least 10,000 words will be 35% of net revenue.
In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works (between 5,000 and 10,000 words). For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World Licensor and will pay authors a digital royalty of 20% of net revenue.
As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of customer sales price—rather than the lower industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly
[snip...]
Amazon Publishing will set the price for Kindle Worlds stories. Most will be priced from $0.99 through $3.99.

Erin Latimer
05-23-2013, 03:44 AM
I just keep eyeing Amazon nervously and thinking "What next?"

They're thinking about selling "used ebooks" and now this? Doesn't seem like they care about authors. :(

MartinD
05-23-2013, 04:13 AM
I don't read fanfic but my daughter does. She thinks this is going to sell big. If it does, want to bet the bandwagon gets crowded quickly?

Samsonet
05-23-2013, 04:28 AM
The big problem with fanfiction-for-profit, as I saw it, is the exploitation of the fandom. (This may be because the only fandoms I'm familiar with are the-one-I-participate-in and Twilight.) What I mean is, whenever somebody has pulled their fanfic to publish before, there was this feeling that they had only put it up as fanfic in the first place to get people to like it and tell other fans about it -- like some sort of promotion for when it was published as an "original story". I don't know if that will be applicable here, considering that these fics will be more or less authorized, but that's the biggest reason why I don't like this.

(Well, that, and everyone I know would call me a nerd if they found out I write fanfic.)

Cyia
05-23-2013, 04:58 AM
It could hit big - it could also backfire like an ACME rocket.

Most fanfiction is anonymous, and very few writers tie themselves to their real names.

I anticipate A LOT of plagiarism in this. Three people claiming to be the same on-line persona, if that person has an existing list of fans.

Look at EL James. She was SnowQueenIceDragons when 50 Shades was Master of the Universe. There was no way, at that point, to know what her real name was, short of her putting it up on her public profile to confirm, and there are people out there who don't want their writing lives to intersect with their professional lives.

I also foresee the more popular writers going for pay, with the flash fiction / drabble / song fic / etc writers being the bulk of what's left on FFn. Fans will be upset at the loss of access to their free entertainment.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 05:22 AM
From the Kindle Worlds for Authors page:



Thanks! I hadn't seen that.

To be honest, I'm not well-versed enough on royalties to say if that sounds good or not. I'd have to compare it to what other licensed fiction by professional writers gets, I think.


I don't read fanfic but my daughter does. She thinks this is going to sell big. If it does, want to bet the bandwagon gets crowded quickly?

That's a good question. It sounds submitted works have to be accepted, which implies there is something of a vetting process. Though I'm not sure how much they'll be vetting for quality vs. just making sure the content is "okay."

When the Kindle was first released and it became easier for people to self-publish ebooks on Amazon, I think the market was over-saturated with inexpensive or free ebooks that, frankly, aren't all that good. It'll be interesting to see if something similar happens here, or if the acceptance process limits the amount of stuff that gets released.



I also foresee the more popular writers going for pay, with the flash fiction / drabble / song fic / etc writers being the bulk of what's left on FFn. Fans will be upset at the loss of access to their free entertainment.

I'd be surprised if something as extreme as what you're describing happens, only because a lot of popular fic probably won't fit the content guidelines. For example, in my experience, a lot of the fanfic writers who turn their fics into original fiction for publication write M/M romance or erotica. And a lot of times the original fics are AU to begin with. I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon has rules about only canon pairings being allowed or something like that (which would eliminate many M/M and F/F pairings, sadly).

But yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of popular writers did start doing this more and more. That already happens somewhat with people turning their fics into original fiction. People have always quietly taken down fics to publish, but I feel like people are more vocal about it these days. It could just be the people I hang out with, though.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 06:03 AM
Something that was just called to my attention on another site:

According to the Kindle Worlds site (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_375976362_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1001197431&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1HVY2VJ856PANX48W7VH&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1549889182&pf_rd_i=1001197421):


You will own the copyright to the original, copyrightable elements (such as characters, scenes, and events) that you create and include in your work, and the World Licensor will retain the copyright to all the original elements of the World. When you submit your story in a World, you are granting Amazon Publishing an exclusive license to the story and all the original elements you include in that story. This means that your story and all the new elements must stay within the applicable World. We will allow Kindle Worlds authors to build on each other's ideas and elements. We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, if you include your own original creations in the story (such as characters or settings), you retain copyright over them, but you will not have the right to use those elements in any future works, even original fiction. And Amazon can use your creations without further compensation.

I'd be curious to see what people who are more familiar with publishing contracts, and licensed works, think of this. Is this pretty par for the course when it comes to licensed works?

Cyia
05-23-2013, 06:06 AM
I'd be surprised if something as extreme as what you're describing happens, only because a lot of popular fic probably won't fit the content guidelines.

So would I, but then I've often been surprised by how blatant some fic-snatchers are with their claims of authorship over a piece.

heza
05-23-2013, 07:05 AM
The only thing I'm really worried about is free fic sites getting C&Ds from Alloy.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 07:42 AM
The only thing I'm really worried about is free fic sites getting C&Ds from Alloy.

Me, too. :/ As it is, unless an author or rights-holder is against fanfic in general, there usually isn't much of a reason to crack down on it. But if fanfic becomes profitable, I can see some greedy companies going after free sites.

James D. Macdonald
05-23-2013, 07:50 AM
From elsewhere (http://drdoyleeditorial.com/2013/05/22/another-one-from-the-department-of-bad-ideas/):


My own opinion? Kindle Worlds isn’t going to give the world more high-quality fanfic; it’s going to give the world more lousy media tie-ins. And I say this as someone who has in her time written original fiction, tie-in fiction, licensed-property fiction (I was one-half of Victor Appleton not once, but twice!), and, yes, fanfiction.

That's my long-time coauthor talking. Like her (because we work together), I've written original fiction, tie-in fiction, licensed fiction, work-for-hire, and fanfiction.

And I entirely agree with her conclusion.

LeslieB
05-23-2013, 02:48 PM
After the whole FanLib thing a few years back, I'm more than a little leery of the 'paid fanfic site' concept. As a fanfic writer, I'm not interested, especially since my fandom is too small to ever get on the licensed list. As a hope-to-be-pro writer, I'm not really concerned. A huge portion of fanfic is written about media - TV shows, movies, video games and so forth. Except for giants like the Harry Potter series, book fandoms tend to be a lot smaller.

Filigree
05-23-2013, 03:33 PM
I'm still scratching my head about the extremely unfavorable terms. They'll essentially own everything a fan writer signs over to them.

bearilou
05-23-2013, 03:38 PM
Yeah, as a writer, until I see this list of approved franchises and books and publishers who will allow this, I'm adopting a wait-and-see stance. At this time, I think the most who will be hurt are those who write media tie-ins.

Miguelito
05-23-2013, 04:18 PM
I'm still scratching my head about the extremely unfavorable terms. They'll essentially own everything a fan writer signs over to them.

Why shouldn't they own it? The TV show producers already own the world and its characters. From another perspective, if you write a serial novel for the Hardy Boys or for Nancy Drew, do you or the publisher own to the rights to the characters and setting? This fan-fic stuff isn't all that different.

bearilou
05-23-2013, 04:47 PM
Why shouldn't they own it? The TV show producers already own the world and its characters. From another perspective, if you write a serial novel for the Hardy Boys or for Nancy Drew, do you or the publisher own to the rights to the characters and setting? This fan-fic stuff isn't all that different.

I'm still making my way through the comments on Scalzi's blog posting but hit on something that echos what you just said.

So, here's the question.

What rights do media tie-in authors retain when they write? And how does Amazon's new deal compare to that?

PulpDogg
05-23-2013, 04:54 PM
Why shouldn't they own it? The TV show producers already own the world and its characters. From another perspective, if you write a serial novel for the Hardy Boys or for Nancy Drew, do you or the publisher own to the rights to the characters and setting? This fan-fic stuff isn't all that different.

Especially since the properties in question are owned by Alloy Entertainment, not by any author.

Warner Bros. or Bloomsbury won't be able to get the same license deal for Harry Potter as easily as Alloy did for their properties, as JK Rowling will have a huge say in it.

Same for every other IP. Star Trek did something like this already, with the Strange New Worlds Anthology - altough I imagine with better terms than this.

And having read alot of Star Trek and Star Wars EU novels, I am not overly concerned with the quality that might come out under the Alloy agreement. Alot of that ST/SW stuff was utter crap and that was officially licensed tie-in material. So I doubt this will be any worse.

I think the biggest losers will be the authors who do tie-in work now, especially those who do mostly tie-in. If this takes off and brings the rights holder a decent profit, it is a very cheap method of expanding the universe.

shadowwalker
05-23-2013, 04:58 PM
I guess, overall, I'm just going to sit back and see what happens with this. It's only a small fragment of the fanfic universe, after all. It's not like the Dr Who folks have jumped on the bandwagon.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 05:22 PM
Why shouldn't they own it? The TV show producers already own the world and its characters. From another perspective, if you write a serial novel for the Hardy Boys or for Nancy Drew, do you or the publisher own to the rights to the characters and setting? This fan-fic stuff isn't all that different.

We're not just talking about the original copyrighted elements, though. The clause I quoted earlier refers to original creations by the writer. If you come up with an original character, for example, then not only can you not publish anything (including original fiction) about that character in the future, but Kindle Worlds and the license holders can use your character however they like without compensating you further.

That is what I would like to compare to other licensed tie-in material. Is it common to give up this many rights over characters, settings, or other original elements you create? That's the big question.

Cathy C
05-23-2013, 05:39 PM
Here's a good (several year old) article (http://www.right-writing.com/packaging.html) about work for hire and book packagers by AWer Jenna Glatzer.

I have a friend who writes nothing but work for hire books for school kids. It's actually a pretty sweet gig at that level, because she gets paid $3,000 to $4,000 for the equivalent of a 1,500-3,000 word story. Since I used to write NF articles about that length (but was only getting paid a quarter of that), I asked how I could get aboard the bandwagon.

Her packager has been very good to her. Every month, she gets a list of topics to write about. Her latest (when I spoke to her) was on planes. She got a list of planes to pick to research and write about from war planes to helicopters or Cessnas. She sends in the manuscript, they suggest edits, she edits and poof! It turns into a book for the school market. She's written about volcanoes and American Patriots and trains. Good learning fodder. They send her around the country to schools several times a year to talk about the books, paying for travel, hotel and food. She does book signings and has a great time on their dime. It's not tons of money, but she can whip them out really quick, so she stays in good money pretty much year round.

To me, work for hire is the same thing I did for magazines. It's a flat fee, no matter how many copies are sold. While mine was non-fic, there are plenty of short markets where the pay is a flat fee. :Shrug: I guess I don't really see the problem with it on a fiction level.

Cramp
05-23-2013, 05:47 PM
For me it's more of an awareness thing. Authors being commissioned to write a tie-in novel are one thing - they will be going in with the knowledge that they are writing to enhance a brand and their creativity will be used for that property. Fanfic writers who are lured in with the prospect of not only writing in their favourite universe but getting paid for it as well... I don't think it's the same kind of relationship. I know that I would feel exploited if a company liked an original character or story line of mine and took it without any asking or attempt at compensation, and I wouldn't have suspected that such a clause would be in place on a service that sells itself and LOOKS like a platform for people writing fanfiction can spread their work and earn a little money.

That's probably it for me - the way it is being presented it is not quite in line with the realities of the legal situation.

bearilou
05-23-2013, 05:55 PM
For me it's more of an awareness thing. Authors being commissioned to write a tie-in novel are one thing - they will be going in with the knowledge that they are writing to enhance a brand and their creativity will be used for that property. Fanfic writers who are lured in with the prospect of not only writing in their favourite universe but getting paid for it as well... I don't think it's the same kind of relationship. I know that I would feel exploited if a company liked an original character or story line of mine and took it without any asking or attempt at compensation, and I wouldn't have suspected that such a clause would be in place on a service that sells itself and LOOKS like a platform for people writing fanfiction can spread their work and earn a little money.

That's probably it for me - the way it is being presented it is not quite in line with the realities of the legal situation.

That's understandable, and would be a good reason to raise awareness of being aware of the contract terms before you sign. While Amazon's 'recruitment' methods may be less than on the up-and-up, I'd feel fairly certain their contract language will be pretty specific.

So it would behoove the writer to read it clearly and completely and ask questions to be completely aware of their rights before they sign.

JSSchley
05-23-2013, 06:00 PM
Here's a good (several year old) article (http://www.right-writing.com/packaging.html) about work for hire and book packagers by AWer Jenna Glatzer.
To me, work for hire is the same thing I did for magazines. It's a flat fee, no matter how many copies are sold. While mine was non-fic, there are plenty of short markets where the pay is a flat fee. :Shrug: I guess I don't really see the problem with it on a fiction level.

My bold.

It's the lack of flat fee that is my main concern with this. Unlike a standard write-for-hire, the writer of the work is not guaranteed anything—if their work doesn't sell, tough luck. Which is true of all self-publishing, but self-published authors also stand to reap all the rewards if their work really takes off.

In WFH and standard media-tie-ins, you lose all your rights to your product and you may have to follow strict guidelines, but usually there's money up front. You can decide it's too little for the work you end up doing and turn down the contract (or ask for more--I've done that).

The problem with the Kindle Worlds model as it stands is that it takes all the worst parts of self-publishing (the risk) and all the worst parts of write-for-hire (the loss of agency) and smacks them together while offering the writer very few of the usual rewards of either model.

Miguelito
05-23-2013, 06:07 PM
We're not just talking about the original copyrighted elements, though. The clause I quoted earlier refers to original creations by the writer. If you come up with an original character, for example, then not only can you not publish anything (including original fiction) about that character in the future, but Kindle Worlds and the license holders can use your character however they like without compensating you further.

That is what I would like to compare to other licensed tie-in material. Is it common to give up this many rights over characters, settings, or other original elements you create? That's the big question.

Since that character's origins are materially tied into that world, the rights are still probably owned by the main copyright holder.

What if Brandon Sanderson created a new character while finishing the Wheel of Time Series for Robert Jordan? He'd almost certainly have to get permission from the current copyright holder to take that character and put them into an original story, even if that character was transplanted into a different universe.

Cramp
05-23-2013, 06:11 PM
So it would behoove the writer to read it clearly and completely and ask questions to be completely aware of their rights before they sign.

Definitely. I just wonder that the vast majority of people who come from a fanfiction background will come at it with that in mind. I certainly didn't read the Agreement when publishing things on FFnet (not that I am a model writer of any kind :D ). I just think of young enthusiastic people wanting to experiment with their fanworks and getting a bit burned by a corporation that is keeping careful eye on the Terms of Service.

But yes, I think so long as people know what they are getting into, they can't really complain on the other end. If Amazon's venture doesn't take off, or if it does, it'll go to show there is a space for this kind of thing.



The problem with the Kindle Worlds model as it stands is that it takes all the worst parts of self-publishing (the risk) and all the worst parts of write-for-hire (the loss of agency) and smacks them together while offering the writer very few of the usual rewards of either model.

^Puts it very well.

Cathy C
05-23-2013, 08:54 PM
BTW, for those who don't really understand where fanfic sits in the copyright world, this article by an entertainment contract lawyer sums it up pretty well (http://www.theodoramichaels.com/articles/fan-fic.php)

Cyia
05-23-2013, 09:31 PM
Since that character's origins are materially tied into that world, the rights are still probably owned by the main copyright holder.



Uh - no.

The "main" copyright holder owns what they created. A derivative writer owns what they create.

If you're writing Twi1ght fanfic and create a vampire, werewolf, or human, etc. character that was never featured in SMeyer's work, it's YOURS. You don't have to have permission to use that character anyway, but the original writer WOULD have to ask for permission to use it in their own.

Think of it like taking toys to a friend's house. You have your own action figure, but you're using the friend's playset. That doesn't mean the friend gets to keep your action figure when you leave, nor can they simply take the figure at will and go to someone else's house with it. It's yours; not theirs.

If you create a character, even one that originates in a fanfiction piece, you can still put that character into your own original works if you want.


What if Brandon Sanderson created a new character while finishing the Wheel of Time Series for Robert Jordan? He'd almost certainly have to get permission from the current copyright holder to take that character and put them into an original story, even if that character was transplanted into a different universe.

Different scenario entirely. He would have been paid for that character, and would have created it while under contract - like using a business's resources to make your own innovations. In that case, the company owns what you create.

Miguelito
05-23-2013, 10:19 PM
Uh - no.

The "main" copyright holder owns what they created. A derivative writer owns what they create.

If you're writing Twi1ght fanfic and create a vampire, werewolf, or human, etc. character that was never featured in SMeyer's work, it's YOURS. You don't have to have permission to use that character anyway, but the original writer WOULD have to ask for permission to use it in their own.

Think of it like taking toys to a friend's house. You have your own action figure, but you're using the friend's playset. That doesn't mean the friend gets to keep your action figure when you leave, nor can they simply take the figure at will and go to someone else's house with it. It's yours; not theirs.

If you create a character, even one that originates in a fanfiction piece, you can still put that character into your own original works if you want.



Different scenario entirely. He would have been paid for that character, and would have created it while under contract - like using a business's resources to make your own innovations. In that case, the company owns what you create.

I see what you're getting at, but wouldn't the (contracted) fanfic writer also be under a contract to expand the original creator's universe and, therefore, every part of that fanfic story that isn't from the original be derivative and owned by the main copyright holder? Is there standard copyright law and precedent for this kind of stuff? I'm not talking about general fanfic stuff, but only the stuff that would be contracted.

Edited to add: I can see certain protective elements to this. If I've built a fictional world and contract out a writer to expand on part of it, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be giving them free reign to create a character and, later, extract that character and use them for some other purpose in their own writing. For example, they could create a wise priest in the contracted story only to turn around and, in their own work, turn them into pedophile, impacting the original contracted story. Definitely some creative-control issues here.

DancingMaenid
05-23-2013, 10:29 PM
It's the lack of flat fee that is my main concern with this. Unlike a standard write-for-hire, the writer of the work is not guaranteed anything—if their work doesn't sell, tough luck. Which is true of all self-publishing, but self-published authors also stand to reap all the rewards if their work really takes off.

I think this is a really good point. You have the right to republish your work down the line if you decide to improve upon it, which can potentially help your profits.


Definitely. I just wonder that the vast majority of people who come from a fanfiction background will come at it with that in mind. I certainly didn't read the Agreement when publishing things on FFnet (not that I am a model writer of any kind :D ). I just think of young enthusiastic people wanting to experiment with their fanworks and getting a bit burned by a corporation that is keeping careful eye on the Terms of Service.

A cynical part of me worries that this is part of the motivation for the project in the first place. Not that Amazon wants to screw people over, but they may be banking on the idea that fans will jump at the chance to publish their fanfic and won't approach it as a business like professional writers would, meaning they won't expect as much. Amazon is in a position here to profit from writers who may not be that familiar with the publishing business.

Cyia
05-24-2013, 06:54 AM
I'm not talking about general fanfic stuff, but only the stuff that would be contracted.


Ah - now I get what you mean. I was coming from the "normal" kind of fanfiction, which is the free to post and free to pull kind. not the contracted variety. Contracted brings it into work-for-hire, in which case, the company owns your brainchildren.

There's a vast difference in something like a fanfic original character and one like Mara Jade from the Star Wars universe. She doesn't appear in a single movie, but she's prominent in the novels I've read. She's owned by the copyright holders for Star Wars.

Aquarius
05-24-2013, 03:19 PM
To be honest, my first reaction was YES!!!! (and I don't even write in any of those fandoms. If it was Supernatural, HP, or even Twilight, I would have been dancing for joy). Then again, since Im one of those m/m explicit slash writers, I would have been DQed from participating anyway.

This does have the potential to screw over those casual fanfiction writers who want to participate out of a love of fandom, as well monetary gain.

Good thing that I came to my favorite writing forum, AW, to see what ya'll were saying about it. ;-)

jeffo20
05-24-2013, 03:25 PM
This does have the potential to screw over those casual fanfiction writers who want to participate out of a love of fandom, as well monetary gain. I don't see how it 'screws over' the casual fanfic writer. If you write fan fictions out of love of fandom, you're not gaining monetarily from selling via Amazon now, are you? It won't stop you from doing what you've always done, unless Amazon goes after fan-fic sites more aggressively.

Aquarius
05-24-2013, 03:40 PM
I think someone mentioned in one of these threads about the potential to go after fanfic archives, because that is where most of the fanfiction for these fandoms are stored. Knocking out the free sites in a effort to force/cause people to go to for pay sites would become a huge pain in the butt.

People would rather stay with the source material for that.

Never mind the people who write outside of the given guidelines (slash writers like myself, AU people, etc), would really end up a creek without a paddle. Where would we go? That's what I meant.

I cant imagine writing (at least for monetary gain) for a fandom that I either disliked/didn't have any knowledge of. :-)

Anna L.
05-24-2013, 03:49 PM
I can't see anything good coming out of this. At best I expect tension between the "approved" fanficcers and the "non-approved" ones (especially since all the slash is likely to end up in the non-approved category). At worst they might try to shut down fanfic archives because it's competition.

BenPanced
05-24-2013, 03:57 PM
They might not go after entire archives but they may try to C&D the properties they own.

jeffo20
05-24-2013, 04:25 PM
someone mentioned ... the potential to go after fanfic archives, because that is where most of the fanfiction for these fandoms are stored. Knocking out the free sites in a effort to force/cause people to go to for pay sites would become a huge pain in the butt.


They might not go after entire archives but they may try to C&D the properties they own.If they do this, yes, fan-ficcers are screwed. Whether it will be worth their time and effort to do so is the question.


Never mind the people who write outside of the given guidelines (slash writers like myself, AU people, etc), would really end up a creek without a paddle. Where would we go? That's what I meant.I get you. But if Amazon and the original rights holders don't go after 'non-licensed fan fic', you're not screwed. You just keep on doing what you've always done. Some gifted fan-ficcers might stop putting their work up for free in an effort to chase the dream of big bucks through Kindle Worlds, but I doubt you'll lose that many. It will really come down to how aggressively Amazon, Alloy, etc., act.

Cathy C
05-24-2013, 05:41 PM
My bold.

It's the lack of flat fee that is my main concern with this. Unlike a standard write-for-hire, the writer of the work is not guaranteed anything—if their work doesn't sell, tough luck. Which is true of all self-publishing, but self-published authors also stand to reap all the rewards if their work really takes off.

In WFH and standard media-tie-ins, you lose all your rights to your product and you may have to follow strict guidelines, but usually there's money up front. You can decide it's too little for the work you end up doing and turn down the contract (or ask for more--I've done that).

The problem with the Kindle Worlds model as it stands is that it takes all the worst parts of self-publishing (the risk) and all the worst parts of write-for-hire (the loss of agency) and smacks them together while offering the writer very few of the usual rewards of either model.

While I agree that no up-front advance is a problem (especially with most of the writer organizations, this bit (my emphasis):


The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.

This sort of reminds me of the old days of Harlequin, where they would pay quarterly to lessen the impact of the low front end advance. I've talked with a few authors who started decades ago that said it was amazing to get fat checks every few months after the release to the book club, rather than waiting 8-12 months for a statement and (hopefully) a check. It could actually make it a better deal for the author than if there was an advance that the royalties had to catch up with. You have to know that Amazon is going to really push these stories in their "If You Like" recs for a while, to see if they'll do well. I'm adopting a wait and see attitude. Only time will tell whether anyone will even be interested in fanfic books in the worlds they've licensed. :Shrug:

A.R. Starr
05-24-2013, 06:14 PM
What a thing to bring me back to Absolute Write (I did miss you guys! Really I did. Blame life and writing).

My overall feeling on this is a sickened feeling that doesn't entirely come from the flu currently kicking my backside.

As a (mostly) former fanfic writer, I don't see this as a good deal for fic writers and can see just how easily I'd have been sucked into it when I was younger.

As an original fantasy author working on bringing her novel up to a publishable standard, I'm uneasy. What controls would I have over these tie-in works published by a future fandom? How clear would it be that these novels are fanfiction and do not impact on my works?

And more importantly, what will it do to my readers? I've read fanfiction and then gotten thrown re-reading the original works when I briefly blurr a fandom fact with the actual canon. But at least I've been able to go, "Wait, no. That's fic." What's to stop a new reader to a series buying one of these fanfics off Amazon and thinking it's actually a part of the original author's series - particularly in the case of series with multiple authors?

One thing I know is, while I'd happily allow (and ignore) fanfic of my work, I'd never agree to this. There needs to be a little separation between creator and fan works, in my mind.

Rhoda Nightingale
05-24-2013, 07:06 PM
With all the restrictions, it sounds like they're not actually even offering to publish fanfiction--that being the random shit fans tend to come up with and write about. Also the fact that there's a selection process. It's not "Amazon will pay for your fanfic now!" It's "If you write in THESE specific fandoms, and can conform to THESE specific guidelines, you may submit to THIS specific Amazon-owned thing and IF you are selected for publication, you MIGHT get compensated for it, maybe."

Am I interpreting that right? Because it looks like a lot of Ifs and Maybes to me.

acockey
05-24-2013, 07:36 PM
@A.R. Starr I think the the announcement say something to the effect that Amazon had to get the go ahead from each Author for the fan fiction to commence

Weirdmage
05-24-2013, 08:43 PM
Let's do a little thought experiment. Let's pretend that this announcement didn't come from Amazon, but from a completely unproven new company.
It's pretty clear that this is not fan-fiction at all, but licensed tie-in fiction. (Although it seems to be non-canon tie-in fiction.) If this had been in the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Checks subforum, and from a new company, I think one question being asked would be: Would you want to publish with a company that doesn't know the difference between licensed tie-in fiction and fan-fiction?

Of course, there's no doubt that Amazon has used the term fan-fiction on purpose to get more submissions (, I assume they know the difference between fan-fiction and tie-in fiction, if I'm wrong about that they have a HUGE problem). It's a targeted call for submissions, and a pretty clever one if you want to get already finished manuscripts so you can start publishing - i.e. make money - as soon as possible. They are monetizing fan fiction by turning it into tie-in fiction.

I think people who write fan-fiction are right to be worried. Looking at the article Cathy C linked to in post #89 in this thread (about the middle of the article) we have this:

"In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

It looks to me like a case could be made that any fan-fiction in any of the properties licensed to Amazon World would fail to be fair use according to (4). Because it would be in direct competition, and have an effect on "the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work." IANAL, and this comes from a common sense standpoint (, and that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how laws function or courts react). But I could see a scenario where any fan-fiction that could be (, according to the guidelines,) accepted by Kindle Worlds would be deemed to be copyright infringement, and issued with takedown notices. And I think it's important to take into consideration that Amazon probably has more money for lawyers than any single creator, and possible any other rightsholder too. And of course there's potentially so much money involved here that it could make business sense for Amazon to take a case all the way to get a Supreme Court judgement that would be the word on the position of fan-fiction.

I would also be surprised if Amazon didn't present anyone who publishes through KDP the opportunity to allow this kind of licence. -And I wouldn't be surprised if they made allowing this kind of license a part of their standard KDP ToS in the future if Kindle Worlds is a big success from their point of view.

DancingMaenid
05-25-2013, 02:23 AM
I don't see how it 'screws over' the casual fanfic writer. If you write fan fictions out of love of fandom, you're not gaining monetarily from selling via Amazon now, are you? It won't stop you from doing what you've always done, unless Amazon goes after fan-fic sites more aggressively.

No, but I see it as the principle of the thing. Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I'm not willing to accept the idea that having some money is better than having no money if it means letting Amazon take advantage of you.

I used to figure that since I don't want to be a career writer, it wouldn't matter if I chose to submit to a publisher who was giving me a bad deal. If I just like the idea of getting my work out there and maybe making a little money off it, who cares, right? But I've seen some people on here say that they feel it's wrong to agree to work with someone who wants to take advantage of you. I've also seen it argued that doing so can hurt other writers by supporting a system where some companies/publishers can get by with this stuff. This made me think a lot, and my feelings have changed. While I may not care that much about making a profit on my work, I do have self-respect and don't want to work with someone who's trying to exploit me if I can avoid it. And while I like the idea that this project could help some people break into writing tie-in work, I also worry this will turn into a form of cheap crowd-sourcing. I'd hate to see some companies deciding that there's no point in hiring authors to write tie-in work when they can just convince their fans to do it for cheap.

ebbrown
05-25-2013, 04:27 AM
Has it already started? (http://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/13434/ref=zg_bsnr_nav_b_2_23#1)

I see some fan fic in my genre. (My books are relegated to page 2) :Shrug:

A.R. Starr
05-25-2013, 09:20 AM
@A.R. Starr I think the the announcement say something to the effect that Amazon had to get the go ahead from each Author for the fan fiction to commence

Yes, I know, which is why I said that's a permission I won't give, in my case. But the point of what I was saying was that I'm concerned about two things;

1. Are fanfic writers who write what will be basically media tie-ins getting a good deal? My feeling is no, because the contract they'd be signing seems to be exactly the sort we've all been warned against.

2. Will the general reader be able to clearly distinguish these fanfic media tie-ins from the original author's series, particularly in the cases of on going series with multiple authors? My feeling is again no, because memory isn't always perfect and can blur events from different books.

So I don't think this is a good thing for either fanfic writers or authors and I truly hope it never gets off the ground. Sadly though, I think it will suck in more then a few fic writers who desperately want to be published.

And that, to me, reeks of exploiting the dreams of young writers.

bearilou
05-25-2013, 03:10 PM
1. Are fanfic writers who write what will be basically media tie-ins getting a good deal? My feeling is no, because the contract they'd be signing seems to be exactly the sort we've all been warned against.

Yeah. That's my concern and why I'm curious how Amazon's contract/deal stacks up against the standard media tie-in contract/deal.


So I don't think this is a good thing for either fanfic writers or authors and I truly hope it never gets off the ground. Sadly though, I think it will suck in more then a few fic writers who desperately want to be published.

And that, to me, reeks of exploiting the dreams of young writers.

This is a huge concern for me, too.

Cyia
05-25-2013, 03:30 PM
I don't know the process the stories will have to go through - if any - to be published, but it's possible they'll lose writers at the editing stage. With most fanfic, you're lucky to get a beta reader, much less an editor, so having someone pick apart what you've written can be a major shock. (And when you're talking about a group that has a huge pool of people warning readers to "be nice, or..." when they post, criticism isn't exactly welcome.)

The other shock is going to be the lack of instant feedback. With fanfic, you can write the story, post it, and have reviews all in one day. This system will be different. The writer also isn't going to be able to pull their stories if people don't love them or repost to every fanfic site out there - not if they're under copyright to someone else.

There are a lot of fic writers who will post to fanfiction . net, and then go to character or show / book specific sites to maximize the exposure of their stories. This set-up is going to be a major culture shock.

girlyswot
05-25-2013, 05:14 PM
Has it already started? (http://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/13434/ref=zg_bsnr_nav_b_2_23#1)

I see some fan fic in my genre. (My books are relegated to page 2) :Shrug:

You mean the Wool book? That's a whole nother can of worms.

Howey encourages fans to publish and sell fanfic of his work. He even has a page on his website with links to buy it. And he makes offhand comments about giving his lawyers conniptions. So, it could be argued that he is uninterested in defending his copyright...

Interesting discussion of it here: http://www.slhuang.com/blog/2013/04/16/hugh-howey-youre-not-doing-fan-writers-any-favors/

snowdog
05-25-2013, 09:13 PM
Maybe it's me, but I'm seeing big honking warning signs here, particularly for those newbie writers who don't know better. This just looks like a way to take advantage of amateurs-particularly those caught up in their favorite show/movie/whatever. And I'm also reminded of Harlan Ellison's cry of PAY THE WRITER!

Have a look and tell me what you think.

http://daytimeconfidential.zap2it.com/2013/05/22/get-paid-for-your-pretty-little-liars-gossip-girl-and-vampire-diaries-fan-fiction

snowdog
05-25-2013, 09:15 PM
-and no, I have ZERO interest in doing fanfic. I just saw this and was curious what you folks thought.

CaoPaux
05-25-2013, 09:26 PM
Since this is a blog on the Amazon/Alloy agreement, I'm merging it with the discussion of same in Roundtable.

scribbledoutname
05-26-2013, 01:54 AM
Aaargh this is totally going to screw with the whole fanfiction/published fiction dynamic. Bringing money into it is going to turn huge parts of the whole thing mercenary.

It's a good idea but it's yet another douchebag money grabbing scheme by Amazon.

ebbrown
05-26-2013, 12:01 PM
You mean the Wool book? That's a whole nother can of worms.

Howey encourages fans to publish and sell fanfic of his work. He even has a page on his website with links to buy it. And he makes offhand comments about giving his lawyers conniptions. So, it could be argued that he is uninterested in defending his copyright...

Interesting discussion of it here: http://www.slhuang.com/blog/2013/04/16/hugh-howey-youre-not-doing-fan-writers-any-favors/

Yeah, that was the one. I agree, quite a large can of worms.

Terie
05-28-2013, 02:03 PM
The BBC has a story on this here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22630814). (You need video and sound.)

James D. Macdonald
06-01-2013, 10:37 PM
Amazon Drops All Pretense, Builds Villainous Super-Lair. (http://www.mhpbooks.com/amazon-drops-pretense-builds-villainous-super-lair/)

Cathy C
06-01-2013, 11:30 PM
And let's not forget about the bookstores to end all bookstores (http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/techflash/2013/01/amazon-to-build-3-new-texas.html)

Literally.

BTW, a million square feet is approximately 20 football fields. There will be three of them, so SIXTY football fields. If only we could actually shop there in person. Sigh... :(

Tirjasdyn
06-01-2013, 11:36 PM
I don't see how this any different from Star Trek and Star Wars novels. They go through a single publisher with the rights, some are submitted others are chosen to write in the universe. This doesn't seem new at all, just new worlds with on going novel franchises.

PeteDutcher
07-27-2013, 02:50 AM
I don't even know what to say...

At least they bought licensing rights. But it strikes me, as a former fanficcer, as just not right.

I agree.

PeteDutcher
07-27-2013, 02:59 AM
One of the problems I foresee is polluting the Amazon search for legit work. Will our books be on the first page when a customer searches for our books? I've noticed that several authors are suffering because of this.

I'm seriously considering not marketing my books thru amazon anymore. They already give my eBooks to prime members more than I desire.

swvaughn
07-27-2013, 04:28 AM
I'm seriously considering not marketing my books thru amazon anymore. They already give my eBooks to prime members more than I desire.

Just thought you should know... you get paid when Prime members borrow your books. It's usually around $2 per borrow.

So it's free for them, but still royalties for you. :)

Lester.J.Blight
07-30-2013, 11:51 AM
worth considering, it seems.

davidh219
07-30-2013, 12:02 PM
Unless they license the rights to Elder Scrolls so I can put my novella up there, I couldn't care less. It's a weird world we live in though.

writingnewbie
09-13-2013, 09:25 AM
I hope it is okay to bump this thread. I want to see how well these stories are selling.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/6118587011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_2

#1 in KindleWorlds
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,375 Paid in Kindle Store

#2
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,018 Paid in Kindle Store

#3
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,029 Paid in Kindle Store

#4
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,358 Paid in Kindle Store

#5
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,778 Paid in Kindle Store

.
.
.
.

#99
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,424 Paid in Kindle Store

#100
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,981 Paid in Kindle Store



Price from $0.99 to $3.99
World Licensors: 35% (I'm guessing here since it's negotiated between Amazon and the World Licensors) of the sales price
fanfiction writer: 35% of the sales price
Amazon: the 30% standard cut that they get


So if it's $1.99, the fanfiction writer will get $1.99 x 35% = $0.70 per ebook sold
So if it's $2.99, the fanfiction writer will get $2.99 x 35% = $1.05 per ebook sold




Also, there are now a total of 204 fanfictions in the KindleWorlds

Showing 1 - 16 of 204 Results

Old Hack
09-13-2013, 03:59 PM
Writingnewbie, I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with that long post of chart placings. What's your point?

As for the royalties, aren't the authors getting 35% of net, not cover price? I might well have misunderstood this, but if I'm right, that would mean they'd get a much smaller payment per copy sold.

writingnewbie
09-13-2013, 04:07 PM
Writingnewbie, I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with that long post of chart placings. What's your point?

I just want to see how the fanfiction were selling.

From my point of view, they are not selling. The 5th best selling fanfiction is only the #20,778 best selling in the Paid in Kindle Store. It's still early to call but it's a failed experiment IMO.




As for the royalties, aren't the authors getting 35% of net, not cover price? I might well have misunderstood this, but if I'm right, that would mean they'd get a much smaller payment per copy sold.

Amazon defines net differently.

https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs?topicId=A3T3UQCG5AG03W


What Kindle royalty will I receive for my work?

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the World Licensors and the author. Your standard royalty rate (for works of 10,000 words or more) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue on customer sales price less customer returns, delivery and transmission costs, and excluding taxes rather than the lower industry standard of wholesale price. Royalties will be paid monthly.

Amazon charges $0.15 per MB. Most book is less than half a MB. I would imagine fanfiction would be even smaller. Let's assume $0.05 for 333KB.

So if $2.99 is the sales price, then 35% x $2.99 sales price - $0.05 delivery/transmission costs = $1.00 to the fanfiction writer.

bearilou
09-13-2013, 04:14 PM
From my point of view, they are not selling. The 5th best selling fanfiction is only the #20,778 best selling in the Paid in Kindle Store. It's still early to call but it's a failed experiment IMO.

Considering my short stories aren't placing that high, I'm not so sure that's an indication of a failed experiment. This is a new thing they've just started. It would make sense they need more time before any proclamations are made.

Old Hack
09-13-2013, 04:49 PM
I just want to see how the fanfiction were selling.

Fair enough. But I'm not sure your post shows us that: one can't extrapolate sales figures from Amazon rankings with any level of accuracy.


From my point of view, they are not selling. The 5th best selling fanfiction is only the #20,778 best selling in the Paid in Kindle Store. It's still early to call but it's a failed experiment IMO.

Publishing is a long-haul business. It's far too early to make that sort of judgement about this.



Amazon defines net differently.

Differently to what?



https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs...A3T3UQCG5AG03W (https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs?topicId=A3T3UQCG5AG03W)

Quote:

What Kindle royalty will I receive for my work?

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the World Licensors and the author. Your standard royalty rate (for works of 10,000 words or more) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue on customer sales price less customer returns, delivery and transmission costs, and excluding taxes rather than the lower industry standard of wholesale price. Royalties will be paid monthly.

Amazon charges $0.15 per MB. Most book is less than half a MB. I would imagine fanfiction would be even smaller. Let's assume $0.05 for 333KB.

Why would a book be smaller just because it's fan fiction?

I doubt that the cost of delivery and transmission would be restricted to the per megabyte cost you mention.


So if $2.99 is the sales price, then 35% x $2.99 sales price - $0.05 delivery/transmission costs = $1.00 to the fanfiction writer.

I think your projections are too high. I'd expect the amounts paid to be more in line with those paid out through KDP, but might well be wrong.

jaksen
09-13-2013, 06:00 PM
I just think someone's going to make a heap of money out of this.

And it's Amazon.

Jamesaritchie
09-13-2013, 06:33 PM
With this announcement from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001197421

No, it didn't. Amazon isn't even legit, and is a bad, bad thing for writers.

LOTLOF
09-13-2013, 08:08 PM
I hope it is okay to bump this thread. I want to see how well these stories are selling.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/6118587011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_2

#1 in KindleWorlds
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,375 Paid in Kindle Store

#2
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,018 Paid in Kindle Store

#3
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,029 Paid in Kindle Store

#4
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,358 Paid in Kindle Store

#5
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,778 Paid in Kindle Store

.
.
.
.

#99
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,424 Paid in Kindle Store

#100
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,981 Paid in Kindle Store



Price from $0.99 to $3.99
World Licensors: 35% (I'm guessing here since it's negotiated between Amazon and the World Licensors) of the sales price
fanfiction writer: 35% of the sales price
Amazon: the 30% standard cut that they get


So if it's $1.99, the fanfiction writer will get $1.99 x 35% = $0.70 per ebook sold
So if it's $2.99, the fanfiction writer will get $2.99 x 35% = $1.05 per ebook sold




Also, there are now a total of 204 fanfictions in the KindleWorlds

Showing 1 - 16 of 204 Results

What is awful about these numbers? The top five fanfictions are within Amazon's top ten percent, with the worse ones selling much more poorly. I don't think anyone was expecting them to be in the top 100. These stories don't have to be best sellers to make them a success. They are making sales and making money for both their authors and for Amazon.

Long term, KindleWorlds may prove a failure or a very tiny niche market. But I would hardly call the whole experiment a failure just yet.

writingnewbie
09-14-2013, 05:11 AM
Why would a book be smaller just because it's fan fiction?

On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels. Therefore, the file size of a fan fiction is smaller than the file size of a typical novel.




I doubt that the cost of delivery and transmission would be restricted to the per megabyte cost you mention.

It's on Amazon KDP website. It is restricted to the per megabyte cost.

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A29FL26OKE7R7B


70% Royalty Rate x (List Price - Delivery Costs) = Royalty

Delivery Costs are equal to the number of megabytes we determine your Digital Book file contains, multiplied by the Delivery Cost rate listed below.

Amazon.com: US $0.15/MB
India on Amazon.com: INR ₹7/MB
Amazon CA: CAD $0.15/MB
Brazil: BRL R$0.30/MB
Amazon.co.uk: UK £0.10/MB
Amazon.de: €0,12/MB
Amazon.fr: €0,12/MB
Amazon.es: €0,12/MB
Amazon.it: €0,12/MB
Amazon.co.jp: ¥1/MB
Amazon.com.mx: MXN $1/MB

We will round file sizes up to the nearest kilobyte. The minimum Delivery Cost for a Digital Book will be US$0.01 for sales in US Dollars



I think your projections are too high. I'd expect the amounts paid to be more in line with those paid out through KDP, but might well be wrong.

So if $2.99 is the sales price, then 35% x $2.99 sales price - $0.05 delivery/transmission costs = $1.00 to the fanfiction writer.

Assumption: $2.99 sales price
Assumption #2: the book is around 300KB (about $0.05 charge)

The fanfiction writer will get about $1.00 from each sold at $2.99.



From their website, here's how Amazon define net revenue vs the industry standard. Their words, not mine.

As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue on customer sales price less customer returns, delivery and transmission costs, and excluding taxes rather than the lower industry standard of wholesale price.

writingnewbie
09-14-2013, 05:20 AM
opps...I messed up.


https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A29FL26OKE7R7B


B. 70% Royalty Option.

i. Example:
• UK Pounds List Price = £1.49.
• UK Delivery Costs = £0.10/MB
• Book's file size is 1 MB
• We don't price-match your book.
• Your Royalty per sale to a UK customer from Amazon.co.uk is:

0.70 x (£1.49 - £0.10) = £0.97
Royalty Rate x (List Price - Delivery Costs) = Royalty

So 35% royalties rate, $0.05 delivery cost, $2.99 sales price of the fan fiction.

35% x ($2.99 sales price - $0.05 delivery cost) = $1.029

Instead of

(35% x $2.99) - $0.05 = $1.00

So it's actually higher.




----------------------------------------
Here's what the fanfiction writer will get at these prices

$0.99 sale price: 35% x ($0.99 - $0.05) = $0.329
$1.99 sale price: 35% x ($1.99 - $0.05) = $0.679
$2.99 sale price: 35% x ($2.99 - $0.05) = $1.029
$3.99 sale price: 35% x ($3.99 - $0.05) = $1.379

Old Hack
09-14-2013, 11:39 AM
On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels. Therefore, the file size of a fan fiction is smaller than the file size of a typical novel.

If your claim is true, then of course the file size would be smaller too. Can you cite a couple of sources for this, please? I'm interested in finding out more.


It's on Amazon KDP website. It is restricted to the per megabyte cost.

Fair enough.

I note you've not replied to LOTLOF's question:


What is awful about these numbers? The top five fanfictions are within Amazon's top ten percent, with the worse ones selling much more poorly. I don't think anyone was expecting them to be in the top 100. These stories don't have to be best sellers to make them a success. They are making sales and making money for both their authors and for Amazon.

Long term, KindleWorlds may prove a failure or a very tiny niche market. But I would hardly call the whole experiment a failure just yet.

Why do you consider these sales figures to be so bad?

writingnewbie
09-15-2013, 11:13 AM
Why do you consider these sales figures to be so bad?

Just my opinion. Other might have a different opinion / view point. But for me, these ranking means fan fiction are not selling well.


#1 in KindleWorlds
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,375 Paid in Kindle Store

#2
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,018 Paid in Kindle Store

#3
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,029 Paid in Kindle Store

#4
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,358 Paid in Kindle Store

#5
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,778 Paid in Kindle Store

Old Hack
09-15-2013, 11:36 AM
There are hundreds of thousands of books for sale in the Kindle store. Those rankings are not bad, all things considered.

Do you have those references I asked for?

bearilou
09-15-2013, 03:11 PM
Just my opinion. Other might have a different opinion / view point. But for me, these ranking means fan fiction are not selling well.

I've seen published books with far worse numbers.

And again, this is still new.

Also, these numbers will change. Daily. Weekly. To reflect sales. To reflect the mojo Amazon runs on its figures to keep their process a mystery.

Sorry. Still not seeing how this is very useful. :Shrug:

Parametric
09-15-2013, 03:50 PM
I think those are great rankings, actually. The KDP calculator (http://kdpcalculator.com/index.php) guesstimates that the #5375-ranked book is selling 10-30 copies a day. That's 300-900 copies per month. (Actually the highest-ranked Kindle Worlds novel is ranked higher than that today, but let's go with it.) It's available at $3.99, so at a 35% royalty, that's about $1.40 per sale or $420-$1256 per month. I think that's pretty fantastic for a single novel in an experimental genre. What's the failure here?

bearilou
09-15-2013, 06:36 PM
I think those are great rankings, actually. The KDP calculator (http://kdpcalculator.com/index.php) guesstimates that the #5375-ranked book is selling 10-30 copies a day. That's 300-900 copies per month. (Actually the highest-ranked Kindle Worlds novel is ranked higher than that today, but let's go with it.) It's available at $3.99, so at a 35% royalty, that's about $1.40 per sale or $420-$1256 per month. I think that's pretty fantastic for a single novel in an experimental genre. What's the failure here?

^^

Parametric
09-15-2013, 06:57 PM
Yeah, I just want to illustrate that there are types of success for writers other than getting a $100,000 advance from a major trade publisher, or debuting on the NYT list, or some other spectacular smash hit. If you had fun experimenting with fanfiction and it's pulling in a steady $800 a month, I'd call that a win. :)

Filigree
09-15-2013, 08:45 PM
That would be a total win, even with original fiction.

writingnewbie
09-16-2013, 10:30 AM
Do you have those references I asked for?

is this what you are referring to?

If your claim is true, then of course the file size would be smaller too. Can you cite a couple of sources for this, please? I'm interested in finding out more.

I don't think there has ever been a study done about the average word counts of licensed fan fictions on Amazon versus the words count of the average novels on Amazon.

But let's use the best selling 5 fanfiction from Hugh Howey's Silo Saga, we have:

http://www.amazon.com/Silo-Saga-Greatfall-Complete-ebook/dp/B00DUFEUQW/ref=zg_bs_6118587011_1

311 pages ($3.99)

http://www.amazon.com/Silo-Saga-Underground-Novella-ebook/dp/B00EOFMX5C/ref=zg_bs_6118587011_5

44 pages ($1.99)

http://www.amazon.com/Silo-Saga-Unhinged-Novella-ebook/dp/B00E5PBUZK/ref=zg_bs_6118587011_6

51 pages ($1.99)

http://www.amazon.com/Silo-Saga-SECRETS-Daniel-ebook/dp/B00ETE4CW0/ref=zg_bs_6118587011_9

44 pages ($0.99)

http://www.amazon.com/Silo-Saga-Kindle-Novella-ebook/dp/B00E1R390Q/ref=zg_bs_6118587011_14

77 pages ($1.99)


It's not conclusive but it's safe to say the licensed fanfiction on KindleWorlds average words count is smaller than the average word count of a novel.

Old Hack
09-16-2013, 11:21 AM
is this what you are referring to?

If your claim is true, then of course the file size would be smaller too. Can you cite a couple of sources for this, please? I'm interested in finding out more.

Yes, that was what I was referring to.


I don't think there has ever been a study done about the average word counts of licensed fan fictions on Amazon versus the words count of the average novels on Amazon.

I didn't think there had been. Which was kind of my point in asking you for such a study when you made this claim:


On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels. Therefore, the file size of a fan fiction is smaller than the file size of a typical novel.

Moving on,


But let's use the best selling 5 fanfiction from Hugh Howey's Silo Saga, we have:

[...]

It's not conclusive but it's safe to say the licensed fanfiction on KindleWorlds average words count is smaller than the average word count of a novel. Picking out five works which prove your point doesn't show that "On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels", nor does it prove that "the licensed fanfiction on KindleWorlds average words count is smaller than the average word count of a novel": all it does is show that you've found five works which support your point.

DancingMaenid
09-16-2013, 11:37 AM
I think those are great rankings, actually. The KDP calculator (http://kdpcalculator.com/index.php) guesstimates that the #5375-ranked book is selling 10-30 copies a day. That's 300-900 copies per month. (Actually the highest-ranked Kindle Worlds novel is ranked higher than that today, but let's go with it.) It's available at $3.99, so at a 35% royalty, that's about $1.40 per sale or $420-$1256 per month. I think that's pretty fantastic for a single novel in an experimental genre. What's the failure here?

Yeah, that sounds quite good to me. That would be a significant income increase for me. Not bad for a single book written for fun.

bearilou
09-16-2013, 03:31 PM
If I can go back a step, can I ask (again) my question, and I mean this in all sincerity I really do, writingnewbie...what is your point?

Fanfiction is typically shorter than novels? I guess it can be. I know someone who wrote fanfiction that was on average 1500 words. I know someone who wrote fanfiction that was on average 7000 words. I wrote fanfiction that topped out around 2000 words. I know some people who wrote novel length fanfiction. The question is....so?

The Amazon shared world project has produced some shorter works that hasn't broke the top 100 but it's not exactly sinking into the silt, either. Yet you have mentioned several times you see this as a failure. So?

You drag out all this data to prove your point and I'm still rather fuzzy on what your point is by this continued string pulling exercise. So...what is the point? You like the idea but it's sad that it's not taking off like you want? You don't like the idea and wish Amazon would drop it? You think it's giving self-publishers a bad name? You wish more self-publishers could get in on the game and make better sales with it? All these numbers and links and broadly proclaimed statements and I'm sorry...I'm trying to see what you're getting at but I'm failing, obviously.

You want to see how fanfiction is selling? Okay. Do you want to write fanfiction? Do you have an agenda against selling fanfiction? Do you see these properties allowing fanfiction to make money in their canon worlds as being in the wrong in some way? Do you not like that fanfiction might be competing with self-publishing? With trade publishing? How shorter works stack up in sales against longer works?

What is it that you're trying to come to a conclusion or realization other than 'to see how it's doing'?

LOTLOF
09-16-2013, 04:31 PM
Fanfiction is not inherently shorter than other stories. I myself have written nine of them that were at least 100k long, and one that was 376k+. I would put it on the individual authors rather than on the fact it is fanfiction. If you visit a fanfiction site you will find a whole lot of incomplete stories that were abandoned. You will also find some that are just plain bad; bad grammar, bad plot, bad dialogue, just bad. That's just because a lot of those efforts are from people who are not trying to write seriously. They are just fans of the particular series who came up with an idea and rushed to share it with other fans. Then, the moment they discovered writing can be hard or their inspiration vanished, they gave up.

I would at least hope that all the stories submitted to Amazon are complete, and that all the writers did the best they could. It is only natural that the quality as well as the length will vary wildly. As is reflected with the Amazon rankings ranging from the 5,000's into the 200,000's. It is probably inevitable that some of the submissions will be of very poor quality, but I would expect at least a few of them to be worth reading.

There are different degrees of success. It is not realistic to expect these stories to storm into the Best Sellers List or into Amazon's top 100. However, as I said before, so long as the authors and Amazon are making money and find the endeavor worthwhile that should be enough.

kaitie
09-16-2013, 04:43 PM
Moving on,

Picking out five works which prove your point doesn't show that "On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels", nor does it prove that "the licensed fanfiction on KindleWorlds average words count is smaller than the average word count of a novel": all it does is show that you've found five works which support your point.

This. To draw a conclusion, you need a representative sample. That doesn't mean choosing certain books. It generally means at random, or all books in a certain date range, etc. For this, you would need books of all lengths from all fandoms that have been published. It also means you can't just pick from the bestsellers to get an idea of how they're selling. If one book sells huge and a thousand sell three copies, and you look only at the one book, or only at the thousand, you aren't getting a complete picture.

oakbark
09-16-2013, 04:45 PM
I would like to do some work for Kindle Worlds but it is currently only open to authors with US address and bank account :cry:

bearilou
09-16-2013, 04:45 PM
I would at least hope that all the stories submitted to Amazon are complete, and that all the writers did the best they could. It is only natural that the quality as well as the length will vary wildly. As is reflected with the Amazon rankings ranging from the 5,000's into the 200,000's. It is probably inevitable that some of the submissions will be of very poor quality, but I would expect at least a few of them to be worth reading.

And that's still not discussing the World Canons that are available to write in. I know about the Valiant worlds because I read/have read a few of those titles. I may be wrong (as I'm not active in fandom much any more) but those aren't known outside a few loyal fans. Certainly they don't carry the weight Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. Or Twilight, FSOG or ...

Vampire Diaries may be pretty popular and Howey's Wool has a very loyal following but really...looking that the properties that are available, outside the subset of hardcore fans, how much does the general reading public know about them? So the people who are buying them are those very fans that know of their existence to begin with.

In light of that, their rankings within Amazon look a lot better.

writingnewbie
09-16-2013, 05:25 PM
How would one go to prove this claim?

On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels. Therefore, the file size of a fan fiction is smaller than the file size of a typical novel.



It can be proven but it would sure be a waste of time and pretty much meaningless.

I guess I could randomly collect the average word count of 100 novels and compare to the average word counts of the 100 KindleWorlds fanfiction?

acockey
09-16-2013, 05:40 PM
Perhaps if I could had my two cents. Collecting Sales figs for a sample of 30 authors and 30 Fan fictions authors for KDP and then comparing the sales figures for the two for a year may indeed solve the issue that is being currently debated on whether or not The Kindle Fan Fiction program is truly a "good program for Authors" which in my opinion is what the OP was trying to prove that it was not, and through subsequent posts, was trying to prove that the only "person" making money here is Amazon. That is how i see it at least.

oakbark
09-16-2013, 05:55 PM
About royalties.. it seems Amazon Publishing is deciding the prices for each body of work. i wouldn't have a problem with that as I guess they know better than anyone how to work their market.
https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs?topicId=A3T3UQCG5AG03W

Seems Amazon is pushing selected works with Jason Gurley as an example. He has 3 Wool shorts at $4.99 (17,500 22,500 38,250 words), and a compilation of the 3 for $7.49.

According to my KD search analyzer (highly approximate) those works are generating about 700 sales grossing 5200 USD a month.

The online KD sales rank calculator puts the 4449 rank at 10 - 30 sales a day which would seem to tie in with above figures.

The royalty % seems to be split between the license holder (original author) and the fanwriter.
https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs?topicId=AAS44RXD0GKNH

Anyway, I can see this being a nice experience for both sides of the writing. I wouldn't mind 35% one day as a pretty nice addition to the revenue from a world I created in which I may have exhausted my wish to write any more myself.

bearilou
09-16-2013, 06:28 PM
On average, the published fan fiction has shorter words count than novels. Therefore, the file size of a fan fiction is smaller than the file size of a typical novel.


My question is why does it matter? What are you proving by showing that fanfiction is usually shorter than a novel and therefore has a smaller file size.

What is the point of proving that?


Perhaps if I could had my two cents. Collecting Sales figs for a sample of 30 authors and 30 Fan fictions authors for KDP and then comparing the sales figures for the two for a year may indeed solve the issue that is being currently debated on whether or not The Kindle Fan Fiction program is truly a "good program for Authors" which in my opinion is what the OP was trying to prove that it was not, and through subsequent posts, was trying to prove that the only "person" making money here is Amazon. That is how i see it at least.

Okay. So running with that...wouldn't we need for the kindle fanfiction program to have been active a year before we start looking at numbers to determine success or failure?

Sheryl Nantus
09-16-2013, 06:54 PM
There's a variety of reasons why *not* to write for Kindle Worlds - least of which being that if you do come up with an unique original character that you give up the rights to that character to Amazon/the World owners and they can use it in any fashion they wish.

But I'm not sure about the point of this thread. Is it to prove you make more money writing less words when you do fanfic for Amazon? Prove you make less money?

I have no idea what the OP's goal here is.

kaitie
09-16-2013, 08:50 PM
Perhaps if I could had my two cents. Collecting Sales figs for a sample of 30 authors and 30 Fan fictions authors for KDP and then comparing the sales figures for the two for a year may indeed solve the issue that is being currently debated on whether or not The Kindle Fan Fiction program is truly a "good program for Authors" which in my opinion is what the OP was trying to prove that it was not, and through subsequent posts, was trying to prove that the only "person" making money here is Amazon. That is how i see it at least.

This would be a good starting point, but you would probably need more than thirty, and you would still have to choose those you did follow in a way that would be representative and avoid as much sampling bias as possible. For instance, if you took volunteers, it's likely that you will have higher sales than otherwise because often people who volunteer are those who are more successful. Those without much success may not want to share.

This sort of thing is hard to get right if you want to draw meaningful conclusions beyond generalizations that may or may not be correct. If anyone is really interested in doing this, it's worth learning about statistics to learn what makes a good sample and a bad sample, the sort of sizes you would need, and how to eliminate bias as much as possible. Those are the things most people who do this sort of thing overlook.

writingnewbie
09-17-2013, 12:16 PM
My question is why does it matter? What are you proving by showing that fanfiction is usually shorter than a novel and therefore has a smaller file size.

What is the point of proving that?



My claim was that the published fan fiction on Amazon has smaller word counts than novels (on average) and therefore smaller file size. Old Hack wanted me to "cite a couple of sources for it."

If your claim is true, then of course the file size would be smaller too. Can you cite a couple of sources for this, please? I'm interested in finding out more.

I was just trying to answer the question.

usuallycountingbats
09-17-2013, 12:45 PM
My claim was that the published fan fiction on Amazon has smaller word counts than novels (on average) and therefore smaller file size. Old Hack wanted me to "cite a couple of sources for it."

If your claim is true, then of course the file size would be smaller too. Can you cite a couple of sources for this, please? I'm interested in finding out more.

I was just trying to answer the question.

Which, if I've understood correctly relates to the costs amazon take off before deciding any royalties? So file size is pertinent to the money you could make? In theory, if you sold a 250 page book for the same price as a 77 page one, you'd gain more from the 77 page one because the file size is smaller. Is that right?

oakbark
09-17-2013, 01:24 PM
Which, if I've understood correctly relates to the costs amazon take off before deciding any royalties? So file size is pertinent to the money you could make? In theory, if you sold a 250 page book for the same price as a 77 page one, you'd gain more from the 77 page one because the file size is smaller. Is that right?

All the info is here
https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/faqs?topicId=A1MMH2I71OJWTR

Delivery costs are 15 cents per megabyte. Of all the Kindle books I currently own, none is larger than 1.5 megs which would be have cost 23 cents to distribute.

Most files weigh in at about half a meg, or 8 cents.

Unless a book is full of images and very heavy I can't see the delivery costs of shorter or longer works having much effect on the final royalty received.

writingnewbie
09-26-2013, 05:59 PM
Which, if I've understood correctly relates to the costs amazon take off before deciding any royalties? So file size is pertinent to the money you could make? In theory, if you sold a 250 page book for the same price as a 77 page one, you'd gain more from the 77 page one because the file size is smaller. Is that right?

Yes.

Amazon 70% Royalty Rate x (List Price - Delivery Costs at $0.15/MB) = Author Royalty

0.33MB file: 70% x ($2.99 - $0.05) = $2.058 royalties
0.67MB file: 70% x ($2.99 - $0.10) = $2.023 royalties
1.00MB file: 70% x ($2.99 - $0.15) = $1.988 royalties

Smaller the word counts/file size, the higher the royalties.